Ecigs, electronic cigarettes, vaporisers, whatever you want to call them – millions of people are using them every day. When millions of people are using them every day you have yourself a small problem on your hands. Now you have something new to dispose of or recycle. These clever little gadgets might be helping people to quit smoking every day but the old cartomisers or batteries, what do you do with them all? I’ve developed quite the collection of ecig components over the years but when it comes to the regular clear-out, I always wonder if there’s something better I should be doing with my e-cigs than throwing them in the bin.
It struck me that quite a few people didn’t really know what to do with their electronic cigarettes and the various bits and pieces once they were done with them. I’ve found a few people asking me one question recently and I feel I should answer it:
Can you recycle electronic cigarettes?
There are a number of ways to answer this question. To start with I would like to mention that various brands and electronic cigarette companies offer their own version of a recycling scheme. Some will offer you money off future purchases or points which you can then use for credit online. These seem to be more frequent in the USA rather than over here but you also need to remember that the topic of e-cigs is still one dividing the nation right now. Cancer Research UK may have backed the use of these ecigs and vaporisers in a bid to quit smoking ‘regular’ cigarettes but that doesn’t mean that everybody has. Even some of my closest friends are still against my vaping habit. I respect their rules in their house (obviously) but in mine, I vape where I like. (Unless they really don’t like it then I take it outside or to the bathroom…)
If you want to use a company that offers a recycling scheme, check out E-Lites. They offer free replacement tips / cartridge refills when you send your empty ones back to them.
There are other ways you can recycle your old e-cigarette bits and pieces too if you can’t find a recycling scheme that suits you. They do seem to be few and far between.
If you don’t dispose of your e-cigs correctly, they can pose a threat to the environment. The various components can cause life-threatening injuries when ingested by local wildlife. Before you say you don’t throw your old e-cig bits out into the wild, remember the foxes and other animals that chew open your bag when you put it out for the bin men the morning after. Maybe looking into how you can recycle electronic cigarettes is a better idea?
Recycling electronic cigarette batteries
A few years ago the ‘Battery Directive’ was set up by the government and this was put in place to try and stop landfill sites becoming full to the brim with all the ones we were chucking out. This meant that ALL batteries, including electronic cigarette and vaporiser batteries, could be thrown into specific collection tubs and boxes to be recycled and made into new batteries. Tesco is a prime example of just one of the supermarkets that have these collection tubs for batteries and if you have old e-cig ones, that’s where you should be throwing them.
If you have disposable e-cigarettes, you can throw these in the battery box. You can’t separate the various components of these one-piece builds so just throw the whole lot in. From what I’ve asked in the supermarkets, the ‘recycling people’ will ‘sort the rest out’.
Alternatively Rok Universal Electronic Cigarettes offer a scheme where they will give you 500 points to spend in the store OR a free disposable e-cigarette in return for 10 used Rok disposable e-cigarettes. That’s how you recycle electronic cigarettes!
To find a local battery collection point local to you, check out BatteryBack. You enter your postcode and they’ll tell you the closest places to recycle your batteries.
Recycling electronic cigarette cartridges
Although these are much harder to recycle because of the various parts within them, you can still make an effort to dispose of them in the right way. Ideally you are going to want to rinse out any old cartridges or tanks before you throw them out as the nicotine in the residual liquid could still pose a threat to plant and animal life around you. If you can, wrap smaller cartridges into foil and other packing material to make them bigger and therefore less likely to be eaten by small creatures. Remember those small creatures include your family cat or dog too… How would you feel if the neighbours cat died because they ate one of the e-cig cartridges?
If you use blu Cigs e-cigarettes and cartridges you can get in touch with them and they’ll send you out a freepost envelope. They’ll pass your used cartridges and other e-cig components over to a company called SWR Waste Management and the parts are melted down or dismantled to be reused.
Recycling vaporiser tanks
A lot of these can be recycled too you know. Simple plastic structures offer a build where the metal (coil) could can be removed leaving nothing but plastic behind. As long as you wash them out, you can throw these in the plastic recycling. Just make sure there’s no metal still attached to them.
If you can’t pull the various bits apart (coil from the rest of the clearomizer) you should at least empty and rinse the tank before you throw it out, preferably wrapping it in foil beforehand to make it less appealing for small animals to munch on.
Electronic cigarettes can be life changing for you but at the same time you do need to be mindful of how you are getting rid of those bits and pieces you’re finished with. Most parts of your electronic cigarette can be recycled in one way, shape or form and even if you can’t find details of a recycling scheme on the website, there’s nothing wrong with emailing the company to find out if they can do anything with the cartridges or tanks you’re not using anymore.
If you’re going to throw them away anyway, you may as well send them back if you can.
For more information on vaping and electronic cigarettes, check out some of these:
- What is the Best E Liquid UK?
- Best ECig Under £20
- Studies Show ECigs Help You Quit Smoking!
- Best UK ECigs 2015